Micro-Blogging in the Enterprise Focus Groups Evaluation


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Twitter is taking the world by storm. Is this consumer service also relevant for the enterprise software world? In December 2008, we undertook several focus groups with the goal of understanding enterprise micro-blogging as a possible stand-alone product or at least a major feature of business applications. We analyzed the focus groups’ transcriptions from a technology adoption perspective: Would people buy? What core issues might drive or hinder adoption? The results are in line with expectations for this fast-growing medium of communication and collaboration. We can now put more emphasis on determining what features and drivers are more important than others. This talk presents our results and proposes the next steps of market research for SAP.

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Micro-Blogging in the Enterprise Focus Groups Evaluation

  1. 1. Microblogging in the Enterprise Focus Groups Evaluation SYSTEMATIC THOUGHT LEADERSHIP FOR INNOVATIVE BUSINESS Oliver Günther, SAP Research and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Dirk Riehle, SAP Research, SAP Labs LLC Hanna Krasnova, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Valentin Schöndienst, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin March 2009
  2. 2. Key Insights from the Focus Groups Microblogging carries considerable potential for the enterprise ROI question open: Can microblogging replace existing communication channels and be more efficient (replacement aspect)? Will microblogging lead to new ways of communicating and thus render enterprises more effective (enhancement aspect)? Are IT managers willing to pay for these perceived improvements? Answers depend on (i) industries and (ii) corporate functions Challenge: How to ride the current wave to enter mainstream industries? Next Steps: Survey and experiments
  3. 3. Overview Research Methodology and Focus Group Setup Focus Group Results Drivers and Impediments Design Recommendations Lessons for Managers Model Formulation and Constructs Overview Next Steps: Survey and Experiments
  4. 4. Focus Group Setup Four focus groups conducted in December 2008 Moderated by Oliver Günther and Dirk Riehle Groups were male-dominated, well-educated, average age 30-40 IT Savviness SAP / TWITTER  DON’T KNOW TWITTER KNOW BUT DON’T USE  USE TWITTER TWITTER EXPERIENCE FG Dec 16 (8m/1f): FG Dec 5 (3m/1f):  FG Dec 10 (3m/1f): Nine participants Four participants Four participants, NO SAP one from SAP OCCASIONAL SAP FG Dec 4 (6m/2f):  Eight participants, POWER‐SAP all from SAP
  5. 5. Focus Group Evaluation: Methodology All focus groups were transcribed Coded with respect to 21 frequently mentioned criteria Frequencies were counted for each criterion Criterion Criterion Absolute Relative Absolute Relative Frequency Frequency Frequency Frequency Perceived Usefulness Time and Codification Cost 14 6,1% 7 3,1% Relative Advantage Ease of Use 5 2,2% 24 10,5% Reputation Compatibility 9 3,9% 5 2,2% Expected Relationships Privacy Concerns 18 7,9% 8 3,5% Incentives Critical Mass 4 1,7% 4 1,7% Fun Self-Efficacy 1 0,4% 1 0,4% Improving Communication 42 Social Pressure 3 1,3% 18,3% Supporting Distributed Work 8 Organizational Culture 22 9,6% 3,5% Speeding Up Communication 12 Top Management Support 6 2,6% 5,2% Security Signal-to-Noise Ratio 8 3,5% 26 11,4% User Control 2 0,9% © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 5
  6. 6. Focus Group Evaluation: Dominant Criteria per Group Criteria mentioned more than 5 times, sorted by frequency IT Savviness SAP / TWITTER  KNOW BUT DON’T USE  DON’T KNOW TWITTER USE TWITTER EXPERIENCE TWITTER FG5: FG16:  ATTITUDE: NEGATIVE ATTITUDE: VERY POSITIVE •Privacy FG10:  •Improved Communication •Improved Communication ATTITUDE: POSITIVE NO SAP •Low Relative Advantage •Low Signal‐to‐Noise Ratio •Time/Codification Efforts •Time/Codification Efforts •Corporate Culture •Low Signal‐to‐Noise Ratio •Corporate Culture •Finding Contacts FG4:  OCCASIONAL SAP ATTITUDE: VERY POSITIVE •Good Replacement •Improved Communication •Low Signal‐to‐Noise Ratio POWER‐SAP •Corporate Culture
  7. 7. Drivers and Impediments © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 7
  8. 8. Relevant Factor Groups Drivers Impediments Good Replacement • Privacy and Access Control • Improved Communication • Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio • Finding Contacts • Time and Codification Efforts • Corporate Culture Innovative vs. Traditional • (Non)-Collaborative • Open / Secretive/ Political • © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 8
  9. 9. Drivers: Good Replacement Microblogging’s unique qualities “I think if people can see they can do their job better or it leads them to saving time whatever, Broadcasting / Speed / Length I think they'll go for it.” Asynchronous / Not Interrupting “Twitter replaces a lot of e-mail. As most of my Informal emails are only one sentence.” Easy to scroll through Enables User Control Can relieve information overload by e-mail and IM However, some participants “Why change? You are used to email, people expressed doubts concerning communicate with you via email … So you will the business value have to provide a lot more value.” “You got your email, you got your cell, you got your pager, you got your instant messenger, then you got this. How many can you have?” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 9
  10. 10. Drivers: Improved Communication More Transparency “With Twitter you are making a bigger step in terms Employees of the ambient awareness that Twitter brings people” “People would dare to put in a small idea.” “You don't have to figure out who might have the knowledge” Top Management “The CEO has no clue what is really happening” Faster Communication “That speed of sharing of information in a peer group is a value to me there” Supporting Distributed Work “In geographical diverse locations ,Twitter is an effective tool for quick status broadcasts without flooding people’s inboxes” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 10
  11. 11. Other Drivers Finding Contacts “Twitter is a chance to maybe find people in other parts of the company that have similar interests” Improved Visibility / Reputation “If you keep posting good ideas, or keep posting knowledgeable replies, you show that you are valuable to the company” Self-Efficacy “There is often nothing to write. Just routine” Critical Mass “If no one is using it, there is no value in the tool” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 11
  12. 12. Impediments: Privacy and Access Control Privacy was only important for the group with low Twitter exposure “Does Twitter allow actually if you said Desire for Privacy Control something … Oh my god, I didn't wanna say that… to take it away?” Concern over Longevity “But if I see every one of these entries and Availability of the Information suddenly coming up when somebody googles my name, it's not what I actually want to see here.” “I can see for them making money by Secondary Use of Information scanning through profiles and topics and selling advertising space connected to these topics.” For the groups with high Twitter exposure, privacy concerns were less pronounced but the need for access rights management was expressed clearly “I don't want my work tracked, I don't want to report every step I make.” “I absolutely want to make sure that only a certain subset of people actually knows that content.” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 12
  13. 13. Impediments: Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio seen as one of the biggest concerns “My concern is always to save time and Getting Flooded with Information not to drown in information and you just get flooded with information from all over” “Bill posts: I wanna sell my old car. Marg has Employee Flea Market a guest from the East Coast who is looking for a cheap apartment in the Bay Area.” User Control was seen as a solution “The value here is in the ability of using it to join a conversation and not join” “But the nice thing is that I can decide whether I want to turn it off” But is it possible just to “turn off”? “Imagine there is a tweet and you miss it. You go to a meeting and you could get into trouble” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 13
  14. 14. Impediments: Time Efficiency Concerns and Codification Efforts Time and Effort Required For … “But I am used to the technology as … supplying it with information something that saved me time rather than constantly getting me involved in answering and putting more information out” … managing it You have to now service like you said another tool on a daily basis all the time” “It's too much maintenance!” … choosing the right tool “There are five collaboration tools very quickly” “Having mail, Twitter and the IM communicator that you have right now, it's too much” Can be mitigated by good “It would have to integrate tightly with the integration with existing software tools I am using to update Twitter … I do not want to have to go to another application to do that.” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 14
  15. 15. Corporate Culture Corporate culture emerged as important determinant in all groups Participants differTraditional entiate between “I don't see it in a conservative or banking Innovative vs. Company environment. In my experience people are very opposed that management can track what they do, like turnover times.” Collaborative vs. Non-collaborative “Why the hell are you working on her problem? We vs. Competitive have this problem what are you being here for?” Open vs. Secretive/Highly Political “You should make sure it is politically correct before you start really talking about it, you make sure you are not stepping on someone’s toes...” People hesitate to stand up vs. “I go to companies where exactly that diversity of Diversity of opinion is valued opinion around problems within the enterprise is valuable” Techie-driven (Formalism) Culture “In my case it's normal to say “Hey, I'm going to lunch”, but in a conservative banking environment you would say: “Would anybody like to join me...” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 15
  16. 16. Design Recommendations © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 16
  17. 17. Integration: Most Frequently Made Suggestion Into existing communication channels “It should be configured that you actually use your email as the interface for your Twitter application” With existing distribution lists “I absolutely want to make sure that only a (automatic generation of the groups certain subset of people actually knows based on distribution lists) that content.” With other software (.ppt, attachments, “Sometimes, a picture say a thousand words” pictures ) Into event management systems “If I am a supply chain manager and a part is cancelled , you usually get like an e-mail or something to notify you that when you can kick off your workflow.” With hand-held devices “But if I can’t use a handheld device, because there is no a needed keyboard here, then I’ve created a barrier” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 17
  18. 18. Advanced Filtering: Crucial to Deal With Information Overload Rating / Voting / Thumbs-Up / Flags “I only wanna see stuff from Scoble that at least a hundred other people thought was good” Keywords “What is needed are function-based algorithms that identify keywords” Adding tags to the original content “What is really missing from all these functionalities is the ability for other people to add tags to the original content created or subtract tags” With hand-held devices Information Manager / Moderator “I think there must be really a very strong discipline in the management and a master who monitors it, so you don't drown in information” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 18
  19. 19. Security and Privacy: Access Rights and Group Functionalities Granular Access “You would need to have more than a personal account, you would need to have either a company or a group or a subgroup account, so that if you're working on a project you can send a message in the project rather than to the entire company or to everybody on your list.” Privacy/Security /Authorization “In the enterprise you should know who is following what” “Companies are opening up unbelievable liability problems. Because what if somebody hears on the meeting: ‘the project is not gonna make it’ and they just put on Twitter ‘the project is not gonna make it”’ Dissemination Control “If it's in a company it should be kept within the company rather than to everybody who is watching” “So a lot of the corporations sometimes have the difficulty what can you say openly to everybody which would not go outside the corporation” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 19
  20. 20. Usability: Still Leaves Some Things to be Desired Compared to E-Mail “Twitter is not as intuitive as email was. In terms of where to go or how to use it”. Topic organization “It isn't organized well enough for me. it's hard to follow the thread unless you really read it.” “But for example for me it is easier on Facebook, because they have a hierarchy of users. It's like a tree. Interface “Enduser interface is horrible” Short message length OK “I really like the limitation in length, because it forces each of us to think about the currency that we extend to each other in making what we transfer very quick, easy, compact, rapidly, digested“ “Key differentiation point” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 20
  21. 21. Lessons for Managers © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 21
  22. 22. Value Proposition – Soft Issues “So this is an amazing group forming happening Create group feeling through Twitter and other microblogging functionality.” Understand group sentiment “The senior management has no good way of finding out what people are actually doing.” Find true leaders “That I think is really powerful – to find the true leaders that people are following, the informal hierarchy” Know one’s boss “You get a closer relationship to your boss” Facilitate communication across “I think Twitter in the enterprise will totally flatten the the hierarchy hierarchy even more than the email“ © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 22
  23. 23. Value Proposition – Hard Issues Data mining “You could just do very interesting data mining on a system like that, with people updating their status on a relatively frequent basis” Harvesting ideas “I see it a tremendous opportunity for harvesting and preserving the work of creative groups in R&D. To be much more in step with the inventive groups instead of having in a week period updates.” Reaching out to clients “I see its potential to reach clients and companies” “These people are actually following customers and try to understand what the opportunities are” Doubts about the actual value “I can't really see the business context, except informing people in a very short form about something, what's hype” ROI depends on corporate “Some business functions are always based on ... communication. Some groups like in engineering function (Engineering vs. there maybe 20 % communication and the rest is like sales/marketing vs. …) thinking, doing, working individually “ © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 23
  24. 24. Important: Creating Incentives for Adoption Give people reason to adopt it “You have to give people a reason to use it. You can’t just say: ‘Here’s a community, here’s a tool, go use it!’” “We adjust schedules in a way that we expect Splitting work-time you to just do 80% of your time on the work but you at least spend ten times to communicate and just brainwash new ideas on Twitter.” Buying-In “I think in an American enterprise the usual approach is getting people buy in. And I think they have meetings and ask people what benefit do they want to see“ Train people to use the tool “First find internal champions and we get them together and they actually brainstorm us to what’s going on with sort of short message communication in the company right now.” Find internal champions “If the management would do it, then the rest of the workers would do it.“ Top Management Support “If your boss is passing down information that you need on Twitter, then you gonna be on Twitter” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 24
  25. 25. Mandatory vs. Voluntary Adoption: Mixed Opinions Against mandatory adoption “If I am forced to use a tool that I do not see value that is a downside.” “I think especially in the US you expect to be consulted, you expect to have your own opinion voice.” “If you mandate it you kill it”. For mandatory adoption “If it is not something that an employee is not measured upon; you will ignore it.“ “Why should I do it if I am not being paid to do this?” Externality of mandatory adoption “If the system Is not perceived as useful, you have no incentive for high quality information, so I pollute the information with random data.” Anonymous use not advisable “[Anonymous postings] created the transparency which was actually unhealthy within the organisation “ “I would never make a performance review If system is used for employee based on how many tweets they put on.” evaluation, it may be sabotaged “But you can send a tweet in the morning too, pretending you're working.” © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 25
  26. 26. Towards an Empirical Model © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 26
  27. 27. Multitude of Existing Models Atti. PU Attitude BI Behavior SN BI B Att. BI B SN EOU PBC Figure 1: Theory of Reasoned Action Figure 2 : The Theory of Planned Behavior Figure 3: Technology Acceptance Model Expe- Volun- rience tariness PU EOU SN Attitude Comp Image PU BI Behavior Job *** SN BI B Relev. SE Output Ease of PBC Quality Use FC Demo Figure 5: Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior Figure 4 : Technology Acceptance Model 2 © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 27
  28. 28. Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT): Best Explanatory Value Performance UTAUT shows excellent Expectancy performance in explaining Behavioral Behavior Intention adoption of traditional IT (e.g. word processing software) Effort Expectancy UTAUT is not entirely Social Influence suitable to explain adoption of collaboration tools like microblogging Facilitating Conditions Extensions are needed... Experienc Voluntari Gender Age e ness Figure 6: Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (Venkatesh et al., 2003) © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 28
  29. 29. Empirical Validation of the Model: Extensions to UTAUT © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 29
  30. 30. Empirical Validation of the Model: Extensions to UTAUT © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 30
  31. 31. Empirical Validation of the Model: The Extended Version © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 31
  32. 32. Summary: Critical Issues Privacy concerns negatively correlated with IT savviness of participants Concerns need to be addressed to convince less IT-savvy users Access and dissemination control needs to improve significantly Current user interfaces considered mediocre to dismal User interfaces and functionality (threading) need to improve Variety and quality of client software needs to improve Worries about signal-noise ratio and personal utility (what does it do for me?) persist Smart filtering tools required User control important: mandatory use not acceptable © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 32
  33. 33. Summary: Key Insights Broad consensus that enterprise microblogging holds considerable potential to improve communication and collaboration Enterprise microblogging supports new communication and collaboration scenarios not addressed by current tools Enterprise microblogging is applicable to all industries and all corporate functions ... ... but customer ROI will vary, especially depending on corporate culture and corporate function (accounting vs. marketing etc.) The critical issues identified above need to be addressed and solved in order to be successful in the marketplace © SAP 2009 / Günther-Riehle-Krasnova-Schöndienst / Page 33